Workers Call On Governor Newsom To Extend Additional Sick Leave Benefits
California workers and public health experts called on Governor Gavin Newsom to extend COVID-19 sick leave benefits.
State lawmakers gave full-time employees 80 hours of additional sick leave in March of last year, but those benefits expire on Thursday unless extended through a special legislative session or by executive order.
Carolyn Denise Barlage is a grocery store worker in Huntington Park. She says these benefits allowed her to keep herself and her workplace safe when she was exposed to COVID.
"SB 95 meant that I was able to take the time off I needed to go get tested and quarantine myself until I got my test results back," Barlage said. "Fortunately, I didn't get sick, but many of my coworkers did and they were able to quarantine themselves and fully recover without having to worry about losing pay."
When supplemental sick leave expires, workers will only have access to three state-mandated sick days. Public health officials say this is not enough time for COVID-19 recovery and that many workers will have to choose between returning to work while sick or losing their jobs.